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Call for African researchers to apply for the prestigious Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer research grant for 2022 announced

African Researchers Invited to submit applications for the JWO Research Grant worth $150 000

The prestigious Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant has opened for the year 2022. The award, which is in its fourth year, provides a major boost to African Researchers, with funding support of $150 000 awarded to a project with a focus on the preservation of the continent’s natural environment. In 2021, the JWO Grant was awarded to Dr Gideon Idowu from the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) of Nigeria.

African researchers are invited to apply for the grant which was established in honour of the late Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer who was passionate about science and sustainable use of Africa’s natural heritage. Over the past three years, hundreds of researchers have applied for the grant with some of the most exciting research subjects focusing on unique challenges facing  the African continent.

“Over the last three years we have received numerous entries from across the African continent and researchers have continued to submit groundbreaking research proposals which tackle diverse subjects and aim to provide innovative solutions to some of Africa’s biggest challenges. 2022 marks the 4th year of this incredible journey and we look forward to the highest level of participation from our scholars so that we can assist them in making a positive impact in their communities and on the continent,” said Bridget Fury Head of Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies.

“The purpose of the Award is to support African Researchers with a grant that will enable them to conduct and fund their research initiatives, while honouring the memory of Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer, who was passionate about tackling environmental issues on the continent. Each year we have seen interest from researchers across various fields of environmental science, and in 2022, we are looking forward to maintaining the momentum and observing even greater engagement and participation from entrants,” Added Dr Duncan MacFadyen Head of Research and Conservation at Oppenheimer Generations.

Applicants are invited to submit their research projects in English via the online portal on and to follow the conversation online by following Oppenheimer Research and Conservation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The deadline for the submission of entries is the 27th of May 2022.

Dr Gideon Idowu who won in 2021 for his  innovative research on the effects of microplastics and chemical contaminants on people and the environment, remarked on the importance of the grant.

“The African continent has a unique set of environmental issues, and as a previous recipient of the grant, I am so proud that Oppenheimer Research and Conservation has identified these challenges and has created a platform which will allow researchers to contribute to the protection of our heritage and environment through this grant,” he said.

No late submissions will be considered .


Special consideration will be given to empirical research that:

  • Advances the frontiers of knowledge within the chosen field.
  • Enables solutions to African challenges.
  • Exhibits scientific rigour and excellence.
  • Contributes to human capital development (e.g. mentorship, support, and professional development opportunities) for the next generation of researchers.
  • Involves trans-disciplinary collaboration with partners (preference intra-African) to leverage time, expertise, skills, materials, resources and reduce duplication.
  • Creates impact both during and beyond the grant period.
  • Displays knowledge of associated recent or on-going work on the continent.
  • Defines a clear plan for disseminating research outcomes both inside and outside the scientific community.
  • Endeavours to open access publications (popular and scientific).
  • Does not present unacceptable ethical or safety risks.


All applications must be submitted in English through an online portal at:

JWO website link to be included.

Online applications opened 02 May 2022 and the deadline for submission will be 27 May 2022. ONLY ONLINE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

The application process will comprise of two stages –

  1. Pre-proposal:
  2. Open to all eligible applicants
  3. Will include lead applicant CV, and a 1 200-word research concept note
  4. Successful pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal via email.
  5. Full proposal:
  6. By invitation only
  7. Will include detailed technical and budget information, and a letter of support from the applicant’s institution (further detail will be included in the invitation)
  8. The successful applicant and recipient of the JWO Research Grant will be notified via email and telephonically.

The recipient will be formally awarded the JWO Research Grant at the Annual Oppenheimer Research Conference (Covid-19 dependent) and required to present an overview of their research programme/project.

All pre-proposal and full-proposal applications will be rigorously reviewed by the JWO Research Grant Expert Panel, a distinguished panel comprised of both Oppenheimer Generations’ and independent experts with significant experience in environmental science.

Please note, we will not provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. The panel’s decision is final, and no correspondence in that regard will be entered into.

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